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How do we select the semen donors?

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The semen donation legislation requires donors to undergo exhaustive medical controls, and guarantees that they remain anonymous

How do we select the semen donors?

Women who opt for assisted reproductive treatment with semen from a donor can rest assured with respect to the quality and control of the sperm used to fertilise their eggs.

There are many situations in which a woman needs a semen donation in order to become pregnant. In the case of heterosexual couples, the man may suffer from some type of sperm deficit such as azoospermia or absence of sperm in the semen. It may also occur that the man has a hereditary or infectious disease. In this case, the semen of a donor may be essential in order to avoid putting the health of the child or the couple at risk.

In the case of women without male partners it is important that they use the sperm of a donor if they want to get pregnant without delaying their chance of becoming mothers.

Full examination of the donor

No matter what the situation, semen donation must always be safe. For this reason all donors must undergo an exhaustive physical and psychological health examination. A rigorous medical and genetic examination ensures that there is no history of hereditary diseases —such as cystic fibrosis— or sexually-transmitted diseases.

Another very important aspect is the matching of the semen donor and the recipient or her partner. The objective of this technique is to obtain the greatest possible similarity between the physical characteristics of both (such as race, height, hair or eye colour). Consequently, the donors are selected based on the physical traits of the recipient (in the case of women without male partners) or those of her partner, if she has one.

Law 14/2006 on Assisted Reproduction Technology in Spain establishes that the selection of donors is the responsibility of the medical team, which has the obligation to guarantee the greatest possible similarity between the sperm donor and the recipient and her partner with respect to the phenotype and immunological aspects.

Undertaking with respect to secrecy and anonymity

Above and beyond medical issues, another important aspect is the anonymity of the donor and the woman or partner receiving the sperm. The law guarantees the utmost secrecy of their personal data. This eliminates any possibility of the identity of their identity being discovered, even in the future.

Thanks to this confidentiality undertaking, women who initiate assisted reproductive treatment and need semen from a donor need have no doubts in this respect.

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